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The key to winning the war on talent is to ‘build a healthy work culture’, Suffolk businesses were told by leading local industry experts at a recent business event.

Businesses were reminded to consider that recruitment challenges have always been in place, only the speed and scale of the recruitment process has changed and businesses need to adapt to the changes or risk turning off talented candidates.

The exclusive business event, hosted by leading business forum Suffolk Chamber of Commerce on 27 April in conjunction with online job advertisers and recruitment specialists Spider and polkadotfrog, covered three key themes: successful recruitment, effective retention, and the importance of attracting and retaining a diverse workforce.

Speaking on successful recruitment, Michelle Pollard, Managing Director of Spider and polkadotfrog told the audience: “The pace of recruitment has changed, and candidates now have access to a wider range of opportunities than ever. It’s not enough now for a company to advertise a role with a list of responsibilities.

“Candidates are looking for roles with purpose, and businesses who can tell the story of why they are a good company to work for will have the inside track on attracting talented staff.”

Fellow speaker Emma Ratzer MBE agreed. Over the last decade Emma has built and shaped local charity Access Community Trust into a Sunday Times Top 100 employer, and she explained that by investing in a healthy work culture you can improve your company performance, and it can also make you more competitive.

“At Access lived experience is an asset to be celebrated,” Emma explained. “By encouraging our team to bring their whole selves to work we have created a more inclusive and compassionate environment, where we empower and engage staff to develop ideas in a safe environment, and can pass that compassion on to our customers.”

Franstine Jones BEM, Director of Aspire Black Suffolk pointed out that another added benefit of improving workforce culture is the ability to attract a more diverse workforce, which can give your business a positive boost in productivity too.

“More and more people are looking to work for companies who can evidence a commitment to a positive and diverse workforce,” Franstine informed the attendees.

“Business should look at their own data, including staff surveys and staff satisfaction, and use it to address historical issues and make improvements. Businesses who can evidence positive changes and promote these benefits when recruiting for roles will go on to attract the best candidates.”

The event took place at Chef Whites at Suffolk New College in Ipswich, with over 50 business leaders in attendance. In summing up, Amanda Ankin, Operations Director at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said “It was great to see so many attendees from such a wide range of businesses here today. A recent recruitment outlook survey from the British Chambers of Commerce outlined that 80% of businesses nationally are facing challenging when recruiting, so today’s event will go a long way in helping businesses in the county to address these challenges and win the war for talent.”

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Suffolk Chamber

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